Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Qatar has won the title of Best Airport in the World at the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2021
HIA was also named the Best Airport in the Middle East for the seventh consecutive year and Best Staff Service in the Middle East for the sixth year in a row.
Since its inauguration in 2014, Qatar’s airport has consistently risen in ranks among 550 global airports, and in 2021 climbed from third position to lead the World’s Best Airports ranking.
Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, Chief Operating Officer at Hamad International Airport, said, “Being named the world's best airport at the Skytrax 2021 World Airport Awards is not only a truly remarkable achievement for HIA and the State of Qatar, but an endorsement from our travellers for our commitment to service excellence. HIA continues to serve as a global benchmark for airports around the world, thanks to the dedication and collaboration of our team and stakeholders. To this day, HIA’s crisis preparedness, business continuity strategy, and agile and effective response to the COVID19 pandemic continue to be recognized by leading industry institutions. As we look towards the future, HIA remains devoted to boosting our efforts in providing the best airport experience to all our passengers.”
HIA was quick to address changing traveller needs for increased sanitization measures and contactless services by implementing advanced technological solutions. One of the first COVID19-related measures the airport put in place were vending machines that provide disposable and reusable personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks and hand sanitizers for passengers
Foreseeing the long-term need for wearing masks, HIA secured its airport experience with its homegrown automated facial detection system that utilizes computer vision and artificial intelligence to ensure the wearing of masks for all its staff.
The airport also introduced thermal screening through Smart Screening Helmets that enable contactless temperature measurement for both staff and passengers and deployed autonomous disinfectant robots that emit concentrated UV light in high passenger flow areas to protect the airport environment.
HIA’s passenger experience is also safeguarded with UVC disinfection tunnels that decontaminate inbound luggage from arriving passengers, as well as security screening technology which allows passengers to proceed through security checkpoints without removing electronic devices or liquids from their baggage.
Additionally, as part of its agile response to the pandemic, the airport retrofitted its existing services with touchless capabilities at key passenger touchpoints such as self-check-in, self-bag-drop and terminal elevators.
Edward Plaisted, Chief Executive Officer of Skytrax, said, “We are delighted to announce that Hamad International Airport has been voted the World’s Best Airport 2021. Inaugurated in 2014, Hamad International Airport has rapidly become a customer favorite and moved from No 3 in the world in 2020 to be ranked World’s Best Airport this year. Achieving this honor is very much a team effort, and our congratulations go to the Management, staff and stakeholders at Hamad International Airport that help make this happen. As travel hubs worldwide have been impacted by the pandemic, Hamad International Airport was undeterred by the global travel disruptions and continued with its expansion plans while introducing additional airport health and safety standards. As the Official Airport Partner for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 we wish Hamad International Airport every success in helping to host such a major event.”
Haneda Airport in Tokyo came second in the awards, with Changi, Incheon, and Narita winning third, fourth and fifth places, respectively.© Travel News Asia